We knew there’d be no Allan & Gomes, by all accounts on Friday night Richarlison would be fit, so who’d play next to Doucoure? Would it be enough to keep the streak going?
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t anxious when I saw it would be Sigurdsson & Davies, but as the game unfolded it was very clear that Davies was brought in to add legs on the right & Sigurdsson was there to keep the ball moving. Both did their jobs superbly & complimented a magnificent display from Doucoure. His engine is phenomenal, his ability to transition would be key in this game.
Early nerves in terrible conditions were settled when DCL leapt, hung in the air like peak Michael Jordan & headed past Matt Ryan. Heart in mouth time as Ben White went straight in with the ball, but no foul, goal given. 1-0 top of the league!!
Brighton are a good side, full of neat players, but also have 2 absolute shitehouses in Maupay & Connolly who roll around, cry & have an awful tendency to rub their heads after every tackle, like they’d just been punched. No let up in this today, Mina & Keane had marshalled them superbly, yet they were claiming for anything & everything. The dangerous Lamptey had been ineffective, Trossard was having an off day. Richarlison was replaced after a kick on his injured ankle, replaced by Iwobi. No luck this week at all!!!
Everton completely controlling the game as half time approached, the weather having a huge say. No midfield triangles today, just prodding and probing, and keeping Brighton at arms length. So it was a huge surprise when Brighton equalised, as it came from absolutely nowhere.
Lamptey crossed from right which went to the edge of the 6 yard box. The Brighton forward hits his shot into the ground and bounces just above head height in front of Pickford. And easy save? No, Pickford fumbles the ball into the feet of Maupay and he turned a hit the ball through Keane’s legs for an equaliser. 1-1. Absolutely livid!!
As this season has already taught us though, the days of ‘Everton that’ are gone. The weak as piss fragility & mentality has also gone with it. Within 4 minutes of conceding we were leading again. A freekick between the touchline & the edge of the Brighton box saw a drowned rat looking James swing the ball into Mina who’d made a run towards the near post and put it int he same corner as DCL. 2-1. Top of the league, Pickford out of jail! HT.
All the TV talk was about Pickford & would he cost Everton in the season ahead. Steve Sidwell blamed the weather, Tim Howard on NBC said yes he would. .. No changes for Everton.
This half belonged to 3 players. It was a snapshot of old & new Everton. Yerry Mina had already made a significant contribution to the game, but decided to singlehandedly block & head everything that came into the box, he would high 5 & celebrate with his colleagues each success, we’re used to that backs to the wall approach when leading, but usually it’s to get ourselves out of trouble or climb the table for an ‘outside’ chance of Europa league. This was backs to the wall to stay top of the table, albeit an early one. So this is where new Everton comes to the fore.
Abdoulaye Doucore covered not only every blade of the Goodison grass, he did his job & Allan’s job. When Coleman went off with a hamstring twinge & Tom Davies went to right back, Fabian Delph sat deep meaning that Doucore had to be box to box aswell as being the one to lead the press. It’s been a long, long time since we’ve seen a player in our shirt with such high energy levels. Incredible performance.
When a cross-field pass by Trossard was cut out by James, his neat side foot pass broke to Iwobi and he broke into the box & headed to the bye line, his cross found James at the back post & he took the ball in his stride and put it away for 3-1. Breathing space.
Brighton to their credit, like West Brom continued to have a go at Everton, shooting from distance, putting crosses into the box, Mina & Keane excellent. Lallana could do nothing after replacing that rat Connolly. It was Doucore breaking into the box & finding James at the same back post to make it 4-1 that finally made you realise that maybe things really are different now. 4-1 up against a team that’d taken Man Utd to the 100th minute a week ago.
Brighton did get a second when Bissouma hit a rocket passed Pickford from the edge of the D that substitute Walcott was happy to just stand & admire. 4-2 FT. Top of the league. Spirit of the Blues filling an empty Goodison.
Our starters from last season are now having to prove themselves off the bench, & those that were on the bench can’t get a place on the bench. The mentality & attitude adjustment has put us where we are, along with the sprinkling of Colombian stardust.
We know what’s next, who knows what’ll happen. Best start to a season since 1894. The 8th game of that season, a 3-0 win vs Liverpool.
Brighton tried to hack us down in the first half, stamping on feet regularly, with no real desire to play football. We could do with a spare James Rodriguez, and a spare Richarlison, as they're getting the crap kicked out of them every game.